At least 26 people were injured, including three women and two children, after the impact of a missile at Abha airport, southwest of Saudi Arabia and about 200 kilometers from the border with Yemen. The attack occurred after two o'clock in the morning and was claimed by the Houthi rebels who in their channel Al Masirah reported the launch of "a cruise missile" and announced "great surprises" in the coming days. The projectile hit the arrivals area and eight of the injured had to be admitted to the city hospital with "moderate injuries," according to the spokesman for the international coalition led by Saudi Arabia, Colonel Turki Al Maliki, who qualified what happened of "war crime".
The coalition opened an investigation to clarify the type of projectile used as "proof that they have received new weapons and that they have the support of Iran to practice terrorism outside their borders," in the words of Al Maliki. Saudi Arabia sees the hands of its great regional enemy behind the actions of the Yemeni rebels, who are also Shiites, but the Islamic Republic denies any involvement in this war that started in 2015. The Houthis have increased the number of operations on the other side of the border, but it is not usual for them to cause victims. The airport suspended operations for four hours and one flight had to be canceled.
Mohamed Abdul Dalam, official spokesman for the Houthis, stated on his Twitter account that "paralyzing the airports of Saudi Arabia is the shortest way to lift the blockade imposed by the coalition on the airport of Sana." Last month the Saudi air force shot down a drone sent by the rebels to attack Jizan airport, also near the border, and the "new surprises" announced after the attack on Abha could consist of new operations against airports, according to different analysts.
Mohammed al-Attab, Al Yasira correspondent in the Yemeni capital, said that this missile shows that the constant bombings of Saudi Arabia have been unable to end the rebels' ballistics program. Hussein Bukhati, a journalist close to the Houthis consulted by this same channel, spoke of the implementation of an "eye for an eye" strategy and recalled the thousands of civilian casualties caused by Saudi planes in the last three years in which schools, markets, hospitals and even weddings have been bombed. According to United Nations data, the war has left more than 7,000 people dead and 11,000 injured and 65 percent of those killed are victims of the air operations of the coalition led by the Riyadh Government.